John F. Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette: New book makes stunning claims about their marriage

A new book sheds light on John F. Kennedy, Jr. and wife Carolyn Bessette's marital struggles, claiming that JFK Jr. once punched a man that Bessette shared a forbidden kiss with.

J. Randy Taraborrelli's new book, "The Kennedy Heirs," excerpted in People, dives into the late couple's marriage as part of a broader examination of the third generation of Kennedys -- the grandchildren of Rose and Joseph P. Kennedy. For the explosive book, Taraborrelli conducted interviews with a slew of the family's friends and associates.

Part of what put Kennedy and Bessette's 1996 marriage on shaky ground was Bessette's inability to get completely comfortable with being in the public eye. As a publicist for Calvin Klein, she was used to being behind the scenes in the fashion world, but that changed when she became a target of the paparazzi in New York during her relationship with Kennedy. As the son of a former president, on the other hand, JFK Jr. was completely used to constantly getting his photo taken.

SEE ALSO: John F. Kennedy's hot grandson is crushing on Kendall Jenner

Though Taraborrelli claims that the couple alleviated some of their anxieties by turning to partying (including allegedly doing cocaine, acid and Ecstasy), nobody around them claimed that substance abuse was a serious problem for them.

"This was the nineties when young people, like John and Carolyn, sometimes partied," he said. "They had experiences the way people often do. I found no evidence of any addiction or problems for either of them."

29 PHOTOS
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette together
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John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette together
Municipal Art Society of New York Benefit held at the 69th Regiment Armory. John F. Kennedy Jr. with his girlfriend Carolyn Bessette, a Calvin Klein publicist. John and his sister Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg Presented the Jaqueline Onassis Medal to I.M.Pei at the dinner. John very protective and attentive to his girlfriend at the benefit gala was seen holding hands and whispering in her ear. (Photo By: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) John-John Kennedy and his friend Carolyn Bessette during the reception at Chateau de Malagny. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Sygma via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 06: John F. Kennedy Jr. and bride Carolyn Bessette Kennedy stand in front of their apartment in Tribecca. (Photo by Jon Naso/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
John F. Kennedy Jr. (1960 - 1999) with his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, USA, circa 1995. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
John F Kennedy Jr and his wife Carolyn Bessette walk to the subway after leaving their Tribeca loft on N Moore St, New York, New York, October 10, 1996. (Photo by Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 23: Newlyweds Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr. walk along Varick Street in Manhattan. (Photo by Jon Naso/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 4: Lawyer John Kennedy Jr. and wife Carolyn Bessette at the 30th Anniversary for the Whitney Museum on November 4, 1996 in New York City. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)
292061 08: (MAGAZINES PLEASE CALL) John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn walk with their dog January 1, 1997 in New York City. July 16, 2000 marks the one-year anniversary of the plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts that killed John F. Kennedy Jr., 38, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and her sister Lauren Bessette, 34. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)
John F. Kennedy, Jr. attends the George magazine anniversary party with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. (Photo by Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) John-John Kennedy and his wife Caroline arrive for the reception. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) : 10/18/1997-New York, NY: John F. Kennedy Jr. walks along a New York City street with wife Carolyn Bessette. (Photo by Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
John F. Kennedy Jr. and wife Carolyn at GEORGE magazine's 2nd anniversary party. (Photo by Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
John F. Kennedy Jr. and wife Carolyn. (Photo by Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
CENTERVILLE - JANUARY 3: John Kennedy and his wife Carolyn Bessette arrive at Our Lady of Victory Church for funeral service of Michael Kennedy. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (L) and her husband John Kennedy Jr attend an official dinner hosted by US President BIll Clinton in honor of Great Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair 05 February at the White House in Washington, DC. Blair is on a four day visit to the US. (Photo credit should read JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
John and Caroline Bessette Kennedy. (Photo by Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 05: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy is amused by the whisperings of her husband, John F. Kennedy Jr., at the Municipal Art Society gala at Grand Central Terminal. They turned out to celebrate the terminal's renovation. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 05: John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, are on hand at the Municipal Art Society gala at Grand Central Terminal. The party marked the terminal's renovation. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
347549 06: John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette pose for a picture at the Annual Fundraising Gala March 9, 1999 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. It is also the kick-off event for the museum's new exhibition entitled ''The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-2000.'' (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)
John F. Kennedy jr. & Carolyn Bessette at the "Bright Night Whitney" Annual Fundraising Gala in New York City, NY, Whitney Museum, 9th March 1999. (Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage)
359625 01: (MAGS PLEASE CALL) John F. Kennedy, Jr. editor of George magazine, gives his wife Carolyn a kiss on the cheek during the annual White House Correspondents dinner May 1, 1999 in Washington, D.C. July 16, 2000 marks the one year anniversary of the plane crash which killed Kennedy, his wife and sister-in-law. (Photo by Tyler Mallory/Liaison)
John F. Kennedy Jr and his wife Carolyn Bessett leave at the end of the White House Correspondent's annual dinner in Washington, DC, 01 May 1999. The event was attended by numerous celebrities. (Photo credit should read MANNY CENETA/AFP/Getty Images)
John Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessett arrive at the US Customs House in New York city May 19, 1999 for the Newman's Own/George Awards honoring generous American companies. (Photo by Diane Freed)
(L-R) Married actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward w. magazine editor John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn at the Newmans Own George Awards, U.S. Customs House, New York City, NY, 19th May 1999. (Photo by Mirek Towski/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Carolyn Bessette and John F Kennedy Jr. at the Newmans Own George Awards, U.S. Customs House, New York City, NY, 5/19/99. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy arrive at the annual John F. Kennedy Library Foundation dinner and Profiles in Courage awards in honor of the former President's 82nd Birthday, Sunday, May 23, 1999 at the Kennedy Library in Boston, MA. (Photo by Justin Ide)
BOSTON - MAY 23: (FILE PHOTO) John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy arrive at the annual John F. Kennedy Library Foundation dinner and Profiles in Courage awards in honor of the former President''s 82nd Birthday May 23, 1999 at the Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts. Four years ago on July 16, 1999, Kennedy, his wife Bessette Kennedy and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard (Photo by Justin Ide/Getty Images)
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Tensions in their marriage boiled over after Bessette reconnected with an old friend, who she confided in sometime in 1998. Taraborrelli writes that one of their late-night conversations ended in a brief kiss, after which Bessette "pulled away and said, 'No, what am I doing? I can't be here right now.'"

Two days later, after Bessette confessed to her husband what had happened, her friend awoke to his buzzer ringing at 2 in the morning. When he answered the door, he found "John Kennedy, his face twisted in anger. John swung a punch. 'Stay away from my goddamn wife.'"

That, in addition to the his cousin, Anthony Radziwill's fatal bout with cancer, which weighed heavily on Kennedy, forced them to seek out couples counseling, Taraborrelli claims.

SEE ALSO: Lee Radziwill dead at age 85

"Both wanted to improve their marriage," he says. "John didn't want to be one of those Kennedy men who didn't care how his wife feels."

The next year, on their way to cousin Rory Kennedy's wedding on July 16, 1999, the couple's plane, piloted by John, crashed off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, killing the couple as well as Bessette's sister, Lauran, who was also aboard the plane.

"They were working on their relationship at the time they died," the author explains. "They though that had all the time in the world to figure this out. Together they had the most thrilling highs and the most crushing blows. They really did love each other, but the question I ask in the book and the question they asked themselves was, 'Is that enough?' Their love for each other was undeniable, but was it enough considering everything that was working against them?"

"The Kennedy Heirs: John, Caroline, and the New Generation - A Legacy of Triumph and Tragedy" by J. Randy Taraborrelli will be released on June 11, 2019. Pre-order it here.

RELATED: Inside JFK and Jackie's wedding:

31 PHOTOS
Inside JFK and Jackie Kennedy's wedding
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Inside JFK and Jackie Kennedy's wedding
(Original Caption) Newport, RI: Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy and his bride, the former Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, cut their wedding cake after their marriage yesterday at St. Mary's Church in Newport.
(Original Caption) Mr. and Mrs. John F. Kennedy and wedding party after church ceremony. Photo.
(Original Caption) Jackie and John Kennedy cut their wedding cake in 1953. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Mr and Mrs. John F. Kennedy cutting their wedding cake.
Jackie and JFK in 1953
The wedding party posing 
So in love! 
A little girl smelling a flower at John F. Kennedy's wedding reception. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Guests attending John F. Kennedy's wedding reception. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier sit together in the sunshine at Kennedy's family home at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, a few months before their wedding.
Two little girls playing at John F. Kennedy's (L) wedding breakfast. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Democratic senator for Massachusetts, escorts his bride Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1929 - 1994) down the church aisle shortly after their wedding ceremony at Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) 9/10/1953- Hyannisport, MA: Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) and Miss Jaqueline Lee Bouvier of Newport, RI, will be married September 12 at Newport, in one of the most elaborate weddings of the current season. The couple are shown above at Kennedy's Hyannisport, MA home shortly after their engagement was announced recently. Miss Bouvier sips a cup of tea demurely.
Socialite Jacqueline Bouvier fixing veil of wedding dress outdoors at Hammersmith Farm on day of her marriage to Sen. John Kennedy. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Sen. John Kennedy (R) w. bride Jacqueline (L) in wedding attire, sitting together at table, eating pineapple salad at formally set table outdoors at their wedding reception. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Jacqueline Bouvier in gorgeous Battenburg wedding dress w. her husband Sen. John Kennedy as they stand in front of church after wedding ceremony. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Former US Amb. to Great Britain Joseph Kennedy, dancing with son John F. Kennedy's bride, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, at their wedding reception held at her mother's home. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Jacqueline Bouvier (C), bride of Sen. John F. Kennedy, wearing a gorgeous off-the-shoulder wedding dress. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Sen. John F. Kennedy (4R) with his bride Jacqueline at their wedding reception. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Sen. John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline (C), standing with a group of ushers. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
12th September 1953: John Kennedy (1917 -1963) and Jacqueline Bouvier (1929 - 1994) pose with their ushers and maids of honor on their wedding day, Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
NEWPORT, RI - SEPTEMBER 12: Senator Leverett Saltonstall congratulates Sen. John F. Kennedy at the wedding reception as Kennedy's wife, Jacqueline Bouvier, looks on, Sept. 12, 1953. (Photo by Charles McCormick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
View from behind of Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (in a Battenburg wedding dress) as she dances with her husband, future US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) at their wedding reception, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Portrait of future US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) (middle row, center) and Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (in a Battenburg wedding dress), as they pose with their groomsmen, among them Kennedy's brothers Ted Kennedy (1932 - 2009) (middle row, left) and Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968) (middle row, second right) on the day of his wedding, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
View of the head table of at the Kennedy wedding reception, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. Among those pictured are Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968) (seated, second left), bride Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (seated, center) (in a Battenburg wedding dress), groom and future US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) (seated second, right); standing behind them is Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921 - 2009). (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Low-angle view of future US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (in a Battenburg wedding dress) as she holds the arm of her husband, future US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), in front of St Mary's Church after their wedding ceremony, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Future US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) and Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (in a Battenburg wedding dress) take the first dance at their wedding reception, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Future US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (in a Battenburg wedding dress) is escorted to St Mary's Church by her stepfather, Hugh D Auchincloss (1897 - 1976) for her wedding to John F Kennedy who walked her down the aisle, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Future US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) and Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (in a Battenburg wedding dress) stand in front of St Mary's Church after their wedding ceremony, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
American future First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) poses with her husband politician and future US President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) immediately after their wedding at Hammerstein Farm Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Senator John F. Kennedy and his bride, the former Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, leave a Newport, Rhode Island, church following their wedding ceremony. An estimated one thousand people waited outside the church for the newlyweds.
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